Curry chicken pot pie marries a rich, creamy, chicken and vegetable filling with curry powder and sambal oelek for this glammed-up riff on a classic comfort meal.
A creamy, curried take on a classic. Certain foods remind me of certain seasons. Chicken pot pie belongs to fall. Crispy, cold air, crunchy leaves and quickly darkening evenings are the best time for curling up with a steaming chicken pot pie. This version mixes it up a bit with curry and coconut. It’s a bit different but still creamy and comfortingly full of chicken, potatoes, and carrots. If you’re not a fan of puff pastry, you can definitely eat this as a curry chicken stew.–Stephanie Le
Curry Chicken Pot Pie
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces
- 2 tablespoons Madras curry powder*
- 2 teaspoons store-bought or homemade sambal oelek (chili garlic sauce)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium shallot minced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon finely minced lemongrass
- 1 tablespoon mild vegetable oil
- 1 large (11 oz) russet potato peeled and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces
- 2 large (8 oz) carrots peeled and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces
- 1 large (7 oz) yellow onion peeled and cut into large chunks
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk preferably full-fat
- 1 cup canned chicken broth or homemade chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 2 scallions sliced
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 sheet store-bought or homemade all-butter puff pastry defrosted
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
- In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, curry powder, sambal oelek, pepper, shallot, garlic, and lemongrass. Marinate for 30 minutes while you prepare the potato, carrots, and onions.
- In a large pot, over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the chicken and brown for 5 minutes. Add the potato, carrots, and onion, and cook for 5 minutes more.
- Sprinkle over the flour, and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 1 to 2 minutes.☞TESTER TIP: For a thicker sauce, or instead of using flour, combine 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water. Add to the pot after the vegetables are cooked through and simmer for a few minutes.
- Stir in the coconut milk and chicken stock, and bring to a boil, then reduce heat, if necessary, and simmer until the vegetables are just cooked, 15 to 20 minutes. Season with fish sauce to taste. Be careful with the fish sauce if it is a newer ingredient for you—it’s pungent and should be added sparingly. Stir in the scallions.
- Spoon the curry into an ovenproof 2-quart casserole dish. In a small bowl, mix together the egg and water.
- Cut several small slashes in the pastry for steam vents. Brush the edges of the dish with the egg wash and press the puff pastry down to cover the curry and seal it in. Brush the top of the puff pastry with the egg wash. Bake until golden and flaky, about 20 minutes.
- Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
*What is madras curry powder?Curry powder is a general blend of spices used in India to flavor food. Focusing on big bold flavors, like dried and ground chile peppers, turmeric, cumin, cardamom, and curry leaf, curry powder is an all-purpose seasoning in Indian cooking. Madras curry powder is spicier because of the addition of cayenne pepper.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This was the kind of meal where we were not still hungry, but wanted to keep eating this curry chicken pot pie because it was just so amazingly delicious. This had all of the comfort level of a typical pot pie, but with the amped up curry flavors that made this one of our favorite meals in a while.
This would be really good as a stew, but we opted for the puff pastry topper, and while I had some issues with my puff pastry shrinking, it was still golden and crispy, adding a nice texture to the finished meal. Best of all, I routinely have many of these ingredients on hand, making it simple to grab the few that I need and to throw it together.
If this is your first time using fish sauce—don't judge it by its scent. It gives your finished dish a specific taste that the dish needs, and it doesn't taste like it smells— just go sparingly at first.
In the future, I may consider baking the puff pastry separately, cutting the puff into portions first, adding a piece of puff pastry to each individual serving, to make it easier to keep leftovers.
Curry goodness draped in puff pastry! Curry dishes are some of my family's favorites so when this recipe appeared I knew I had to try it. The combination of the madras curry powder and the browned chicken thighs and tender vegetables was delicious and the crispy puff pastry topping raised the bar even higher.
This recipe served our family of 4 with my daughter requesting seconds. While this isn't a 30 minute meal, it's well worth the time to make. It worked out to about 45 minutes hands on (with prep and cooking/stirring) as well as another 45 minutes hands off for a total of 1.5 hours. I took 6 chicken thighs and combined them with the marinade ingredients, adding the black pepper to the marinade and then continued on with the veg prep.
After the marinating time was up, I browned the chunks of chicken in olive oil before adding the vegetables (for 5 minutes), the can of full-fat coconut milk, and the chicken broth. I allowed this to simmer for the 20 minutes and then added 1 tablespoon of fish sauce (as we like it a lot and the dish seemed to need a bit of salt ) along with the green onions.
My only trouble came with the puff pastry. The dish I chose to use was too large and the first piece of puff pastry I thawed was too old and dried out. The second piece I thawed quickly and then gently rolled it out a bit to make it bigger to completely cover the baking dish. I also discovered that it would be better to cut the slashes into the pastry before placing it on the dish as when I tried to do it in place the liquid from underneath seeped up and made it hard to get a good egg wash on it. Next time I'll cut it first.
We baked the dish for 20 minutes at 400°F and it came out golden brown and puffed. After letting it set, we dug in and enjoyed the delicious, curry goodness. My only recommendation for next time is that I may choose to thicken the "broth" a bit with a flour roux before baking as it was a bit too soupy. This would also be really delicious with dumplings, I think I may have to give that a try next time. Overall, delicious and we will definitely make this one again!
I love the housewarming aroma and feel-good flavors of curry. How comforting to enrobe a braised curry with puff pastry and enjoy a bit of crust with each creamy bite. This recipe appealed to me as a new approach to both curry and pot pie—both favorites at my house.
Some things to consider about this recipe: the heat levels of curry powders vary from brand to brand. Madras is a red curry with quite a bit of chili powder so understand the heat level of your curry powder before seasoning and adjust amounts to suit your preferences. Lemon zest is a nice substitute if you can't find fresh lemongrass.
To make these curry chicken pot pies easier to prep during the work week, make the chicken and vegetable braise a day ahead and refrigerate overnight. The next day, bring that mixture back to a simmer, place in the casserole dish, and top with cold but flexible puff pastry. That hot mixture ensures that the casserole cooks up quickly and all the dough layers puff up nicely in your hot oven without burning.
Individual pot pies are a nice variation. Everyone gets their share of the pastry. You could use refrigerated biscuit dough instead of puff pastry to make this preparation even easier.
This is a nice curry chicken pot pie with the sambal oelek giving a nice kick without being too spicy and the coconut milk giving a creamy richness. The recipe comes together quickly and I would make the curry again and perhaps add some additional vegetables and skip the pastry topping. I would instead serve the stew with steamed rice which is how we enjoyed the leftovers.
It's kind of genius to do a mashup of pot pie and curry in a curry chicken pot pie. Having the crispy, flaky puff pastry top to soak up the creamy, spicy curry was amazing. It was also nice to have all those veggies in the mix, and to be able to dial up the spice level. I don't know if I'm just a slow chopper but the recipe did take a couple hours start to finish, which was fine for a weekend meal but wouldn't work so well during the week. But if you can manage to have leftovers...My attention was drawn to the fact that there was no salt in this recipe, which I found interesting. I didn't think it necessarily needed it, with the fish sauce and all the flavorings, but it wouldn't have hurt either. I cooked the chicken for about 7 minutes vs. the 5 in the recipe just to get a little more browning. The dilemma now will be: Will we ever go back to "just" curry?
This truly is a lovely creamy curry chicken pot pie :-) The flavors of the pie are very rich and most certainly satisfying.
The recipe comes together nicely. Putting together the chicken, curry powder, sambal, shallot, garlic and lemongrass to let them marinate - well, this aroma was divine! If looking for a time saver, store bought minced lemongrass is available (I used Western Family brand).
If you are wanting a chicken pot pie that is a change from the typical chicken pot pie, then look no further and get baking!
Originally published April 16, 2021